Following Jewish footsteps
through medieval Rothenburg

Town Hall
Excerpt from the town's citizens' book with a signature in Hebrew writing.
Source: Rothenburg ob der Tauber town archives
Depiction of Judgement Day in the Emperor's Hall of Rothenburg's town hall.
Source: Reichsstadtmuseum Rothenburg ob der Tauber
In medieval times the Town Hall was the juridical centre of the town. Every citizen had to take an oath on the town's constitution as this was the only way of acquiring the citizenship, for both Christians and Jews. Today you can still find Hebrew entries in the citizens' books dating back to the Middle Ages. Contrary to the Christians, any male Jew was able to read, which applied to only a small minority of the Christians. The depiction of Judgement Day found in the Kaisersaal (Emperor's Hall) of the Gothic Town Hall, which is also where civil court trials took place, clearly shows that even spiritual and worldly leaders are subject to God's justice. From the 15th century up to 1521 Rothenburg's Jewish community had its own court so that trials concerning the community could be dealt with autonomously.